Patricia Fry is the author of 29 books including The Right
Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book (Matilija Press), A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles and The Successful
Writer’s Handbook. Patricia
is also the executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers,
Artists and Writers Network): www.spawn.org.
Follow her informative blog at: http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog and to read an interview with Patricia CLICK HERE
Are you a working writer? Do you have strong time management and marketing skills? Can you find enough work to support your writing habit? Would you like to make even more money? Of course you would. And you can! All you need is an awareness of the vast opportunities out there for writers and the willingness to stretch and grow.
Let’s say that you write articles for magazines. You send out forty queries and write three to eight articles each month. Additionally, you recycle your articles as reprints. You get paid to write a church bulletin and an occasional book review. What more could you do? Plenty. Here are some ideas:
1.Write political campaign material. Elections can be lucrative for writers. Whether the campaign is citywide or at the national level, candidates rely on accomplished writers to sway voters. I’ve earned some good money writing campaign material for school board candidates and local union election contenders. It’s easy to get involved. Simply choose your candidate or cause and apply for a writing job. Be prepared with a resume and a sample press release or campaign blurb. I typically charge $50/hour for this work, but the bigger the election, the higher the pay rate.
2: Start a newsletter business. I know someone who writes newsletters for half dozen or so businesses and organizations. Potential earnings per newsletter are in the $2,000 to $6,000 range per year. What does this work entail? You write articles, conduct interviews and provide data related to the business or organization and arrange to have the newsletter typeset and printed or copied.
3: Produce radio copy. Before it’s spoken, it has to be written—at least that’s true of ad copy for radio. If you can write concise, interesting copy for products, this might be an enjoyable and lucrative sideline for you. The fee for radio ad commercials is around $40 – $75 an hour.
4: You be the judge. If you have impressive writing credentials, why not apply as a judge for some of the many writing contests operating throughout the U.S. each year? I’ve judged poetry contests and a nonfiction story-writing contest. Apply for a judging job by contacting the directors of contests that appeal to you. Find contests listed in Writer’s Market and online at http://www.writing-world.com/links/contests.shtml, for example. The pay isn’t usually that great, but take it from me, it’s fun, it’s a definite learning experience and it’s another credit for your resume.
5: Write speeches. Did you know that people will pay for speeches of all types? Write a eulogy, a motivational speech for a CEO or a roast for a 50th birthday party. You can charge anywhere from $25 to $100 for a five-seven-minute speech.
6: Produce fundraising material for businesses and organizations. Writing fundraising material takes a special knack, which is why business leaders and organization directors usually hire someone. If you can write convincing, straightforward copy designed to touch people’s hearts and their pocketbooks, you can probably get work in this field. Fees vary according to the scope of the project.
7: Become a teacher. It took me years to figure out that my writing/publishing experience was a valuable commodity. Perhaps yours is, too. Give seminars for fledgling writers. Teach classes through a local art center, a community college or online. Present memoir classes at a senior center. Not only will you get paid anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per course or seminar, some of your students might hire you to help them get their writing in shape to be published.
10: Ask for writing work. When you experience a slow time (and we all have them), contact some of your favorite editors and ask for an assignment. Maybe one of their writers can’t make deadline and they need a fast turnaround on an article. Perhaps they have an idea, but haven’t yet settled on a writer to initiate it. It often pays to make yourself available.
Subscribe to online writing-oriented newsletters and join online writing organizations that offer job listings for writers. Many of them also keep you current on publishing trends. Here are a few resources to get you started:
Writer’s Weekly (http://www.writersweekly.com)
The Write Jobs (http://www.writejobs.com)
SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) – http://www.spawn.org
Network constantly. Networking has served me extremely well. A few years ago, for example, a writer friend suggested I contact an editor she knows about writing for their technical magazine. I ended up writing a dozen articles for this magazine during a twelve-month period.
If writing is your passion and your livelihood, it’s imperative that you write where the money is. Let this list be a starting place that launches your lucrative writing career.